Exposé Online banner

Blackmore's Night — Dancer and the Moon
(Frontiers Records FR CD 605, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-11-10

Dancer and the Moon Cover artBefore hearing Dancer and the Moon, I was familiar with Blackmore's Night only by reputation, primarily from the reviews my fellow Exposé staff members have written about their previous releases. So I knew to expect a mix of contemporary (defined loosely) rock and medieval sounds. Now, after listening to it a fair number of times, I'm still torn how to feel about it. On the one hand, there is great appeal in these supremely catchy melodies, the clean beauty of Candice Night's voice, and the skill of the instrumental work. There is a reason that folk and classical music have retained their popularity to some degree over centuries of change — a good melody can last, if not forever, a really long time. And given my fondness for some previous meldings of medieval music and rock (Gryphon, Philip Pickett), there was a chance this would burrow into my heart. The other hand presents a "but," and that "but" is: but the performances are so precise and polished that they sound calculated. This in itself is not enough to disqualify an album — there are plenty of supremely polished albums that I love — so I'll just say that for me the balance tips mostly to the positive side, if not completely over. For those who haven't heard this band before, they remind me of Renaissance with a bit more rock and a leaning towards older styles than the Romantic era favored by Annie Haslam and company. Several of these tracks have a Russian tinge to them, which Renaissance also did. The beautiful tones of Ritchie Blackmore's mandola, hurdy-gurdy, and nyckelharpa add a nice color to the tunes even when they're not the prime focus. Even if you're not on your way to an SCA gathering, it's worth checking out.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Blackmore's Night

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cartoon - Sortie – The end of the 70s and first years of the 80s were a defining time in the history of progressive rock. The dinosaurs that had dominated throughout the first half of the 70s were rapidly becoming a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues